Geez, I’ve gotten pretty bad about keeping up on blogs lately. With the weather taking a decided turn for the better, I’ve been doing a bunch of running outside. I’m partly trying to make sure I’m ready for the National Distance Running Hall of Fame Half-Marathon next weekend, and partly just plain enjoying being outside.
On Saturday, I was planning on doing 13.3 miles on my newly defined half-marathon training route, but only squeaked out 10.3; The weather pulled a fast one on me and I ended up over dressing, over heating, and getting pretty dehydrated. Dark grey skies at the start told me to wear long sleeves, but soon out onto the course, the skies cleared and the sun came pouring out. Felt kinda slow the whole way through, but turned in a decent 9:06 pace.
On Sunday, the weather seemed a little more stable. The sun was out and it was cool and breezy. Went with a nice light New Balance short sleeve jersey. To combat the dehydration, I finally got around to digging out my CamelBak hydration system from my biking days. On the bike, you after you get used to the straps, you pretty much forget its there. Its a 50oz’er, so, fully loaded it ways about 4.25 pounds. I figured that I’d better start off lighter than heavier, so I filled up about half way and did my best to burp out the air bubbles.
Hmm, it definitely takes some getting used to. Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle. Slosh, slosh, slosh. But, all in all, not too bad. After the first few miles, I was appreciating the water more than I was being annoyed by the noise. I’m guessing that if I had my iPod on, I probably wouldn’t notice it all. I left the iPod home for 2 reasons: First, I wasn’t 100% sure it wasn’t going to rain; I’d hate to drown my beloved music player. Second, I want to be sure that my CamelBak hadn’t sprung any leaks (as my iPod would be clipped in under it).
So, the nice cool weather and carried water allowed me to bang out 14.8 miles, a new max distance distance. Felt pretty good at the end, but the legs and feet were feeling pretty darn beat. Even with the water during the run, I downed a bunch of water and Arizona Diet Peach Ice Tea; I did run into a little problem in the post race shower though; As soon as the nice hot water hit my legs, my calves went to full crampage. Didn’t feel like I was going down, but it was grit your teeth painful for a few minutes. By the time the shower was done, they just felt tired again.
Giving the CamelBak some action again, I was quickly reminded why I didn’t use it more. The water tastes quite garden house like, due to something funky in the bladder or tube. I try to rinse it out pretty well after every use but I guess I should really invest in the CamelBak cleaning kit, which includes some special brushes, some cleaning tablets, and coat hanger looking thing for hanging the bladder out to dry.
I’ve also tried the other well known cleaning trick of cleaning out the bladder and tube by rinsing with mouthwash. Guess I went too heavy on the mouthwash when I gave it a shot, I couldn’t get the taste out for months. At that point, the garden hose taste was better, as the minty fresh mouthwash is far less palatable when you’re dying of thirst.
I figured that my CamelBak is at least 5 or 6 years old by now, probably time to replace the guts. So, last night, I googled around for some replacement bladders. Turns out that the bladder for my pack runs about $20. Less expensive than I remembered. But, last years model of the 50 Oz pack (pack and bladder) is only $24. Geez, there’s nothing wrong with my pack, but for only $4 more, I’ll take a completely new rig. Hmm, wait a second, they have belt mount pack they say is good for running. Sold! I’ll post some feedback on how it works sooner or later.
Back to the grind for now. Hope to have another good high mileage week. Remember: Pain is temporary, pride is forever (anonymously chalked on the Thorden Park water tower hill in this year’s Mountain Goat